Tag Archives: enemy pie

enemy pie saves lives

to catch a hummingbird, v2.0

i caught a hummingbird a couple weeks ago with a tupperware container and a children’s book called Fox Makes Friends. I also vowed to be better prepared for the next time a hummingbird flew into our house. I didn’t think it would happen again so soon. My photo quality actually went down dramatically, since I didn’t even try to take a pic. but it wouldn’t have been a good shot anyway, what with it banging it’s head against a window and all.

But I did improve my technique. This time, instead of boring tupperware, I used an empty rainbow sherbet tub. and instead of Fox Makes Friends (an excellent book), I used Enemy Pie.

Now, when I go to schools to talk about my book, I can talk about how Enemy Pie is literaturely a life saver.


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Enemy Pie Book Giveaway

Every school day this month, I will be giving away a signed copy of Enemy Pie to one lucky duck. The contest is free and you only need to enter once. Enter here at Enemypie.com!


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look! pieheads!

this post is on shaky ground from the get go so read it while you can. It is now 4:53 in the morning and i have just spent the entire night making this altered enemy pie cover on faceinhole.com. you can make your own now in 1/100th of the time it took me if you click that link back there. at this point i am delirious and don’t really know/care what i am writing, so if this post lasts through tomorrow it will be a minor miracle. i spent a good 2 hours downloading a photoshop alternative and trying to learn it, then another 2 hours coming to the realization that i have no pictures of me on my hard drive that would fit into that piehead hole. so i used one of abby and i hope she doesn’t mind my infringing on her dignity. and then of course there are the copyright infringement issues. not sure if i am even allowed to put this pic up, but there were other magazine covers, and mario brothers cut outs on the site, so i’m guessing it might be okay. i’m thinking it’s good because it’s free advertising. unless somebody puts freddy kruger in that pieface hole. not good for picture books. oh man i don’t want freddy kruger in my head before i go to sleep. rainbows and kitty cats rainbows and kitty cats. yikes. time to sleep.

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For Teachers: How To Make Enemy Pie

the good stuff

If you were going to make a pie for an enemy, what would you put in it? Over the years I’ve heard kids give some pretty wild answers to that question. Iguana guts. Crazy glue. Rotten zombie brains… At an elementary school for highly gifted kids, a first grader recommended battery acid. At another school, at the top of his lungs, a second grader yelled out dog s*#t. (Poor little bugger didn’t get to see the end of the show…)

This is all part of the Enemy Pie Experiment, a presentation I do on author visits for kids in grades K-3. I ask a few questions, read the book, and then the kids get to work finding the best way to get rid of an enemy. They make a good pie, then a bad pie, and decide which one does a better job achieving their goal.

For teachers wanting to do this experiment on their own, I have a few quick recommendations:

the baaad stuff

1) Expect a little noise. Kids get excited with this presentation. I’m just sayin’…

2) Playdoh is your friend. You will most likely hear ideas that you hadn’t anticipated. Let your students make those things with the Doh. And for liquids, let them mix vials of colored water.

3) Strategically include everyone. There will be lots of chances to participate! (I get about 60 kids involved in this activity, either making stuff or answering questions.) A couple suggestions on choosing your helpers:

-When a student is making an ingredient out of playdoh, give them enough to share with their neighbors. It gives you a few more active helpers and it’s a good little instant community builder.

– If any of your students are having “friendship issues,” try to give them a big role in the pie making activity. (Rolling out the dough, putting on the whip cream, and putting on the shaving cream are highly coveted jobs…) Even if it’s just for 30 seconds, these students will actively associate fun and joy with the process of conflict resolution. that can be powerful stuff!

4) Divert the horrendous. 99% of the time, student answers are non-controversial. But for the over the top ones… Don’t do fake poo. And fake blood is pretty creepy too. When kids start pushing that envelope, meet them halfway with kitty litter or ketchup. In my experience things go rapidly downhill whenever that line-of-disgust is crossed.

5) Test out pie theory. After the pies are made, do a walk through to see which pie works best. Set the stage for your kids giving the bad pie to their enemy. What would happen after they took a bite? (telling them “DON’T SAY DIE” definitely helps keep the experiment on track) Then try the same scenario with the good pie, and  vote on which method worked best.

That’s it in a nutshell. Below I’ve added a list of basic ingredients and items that you’ll need.

Basic Ingredients for the Enemy Pie Experiment


dough (i use the little biscuit rolls that you find next to the cookie dough at the grocery store. one poppable container per pie.)

2 pie pans

playdoh – red is used the most. blue next, then yellow.

dirt, rocks, and weeds

worms (put wet gummy worms in a jar of dirt and shake it up. they look real!)

plastic bugs (get them cheap at oriental trading company)

one can whipped cream, sprinkles, and a cherry on top (for the good pie)

one can shaving cream and kitty litter (to top off the bad pie)

colored water

that should cover the bare bones, and most of the ideas your students come up with. here are some extra ideas:

cat food, dog bones, slime, ketchup, mustard, itching powder (i just use flour), sticky eyeballs, sawdust, sweaty socks…


I know this presentation requires a bit of prep time and a fair amount of energy. But holy smokes- it’s so worth it. It’s a blast to do, the kids love it, and the hands-on lesson on conflict resolution is easy for kids to get. Or, invite me to your school and I’ll do it! I offer this presentation and a number of others at my school author visits. It’s easy to set up! Click here to learn more.

And if you do decide to do the experiment, please drop me a line and let me know how it went!




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Hillside Elementary at Fort Lewis

Video 148 0 00 00-26The school visit schedule is off to a great start after last Friday’s visit to Hillside Elementary. Many thanks to librarian Wayne Osborn, PTA president April London, and the students and staff for making it such a fun day. And extra props to April for those amazing cookies, and for making the event possible!

This was my second visit to Hillside, which is the only school I’ve ever visited on a military base. I didn’t get to interact much with the parents, but I found the interactions I did have to be fascinating. I don’t get the opportunity to talk with military personel or their families very often, and doing so has deepened my respect for the sacrifices these entire communities make for what they believe in.

I would also like to give a special thank you to Kayla from Mr. B’s 4th grade class. The picture included with this post is a card that she made for me. I could tell she put a ton of time in to making it. On the front of the card there is an awesome drawing of the cover of Enemy Pie. And on the inside she even included a watermelon sucker! My kids have been jockeying for that thing, but it’s such a sweet addition to her card that I’m not willing to take it off.

Thank you again Hillside Elementary!


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